MORE INTERVIEWS: Arnold Palmer Invitational transcript archive
SERGIO GARCÍA: Well, I think just going the same direction, improving a little bit. I felt that today we played extremely well and if things would have happened our way, we would have shot a really, really low round, maybe something even to contend on a very difficult course with tough pins and a little bit of breeze. Yeah, that was positive, and a couple stupid little mistakes here and there, but you know, I guess that's normal.
Q. I remember talking to you at THE PLAYERS last year and I asked you if you were close and you said close, but not close close. It seems like a year later you are close close. Is that how you feel??
SERGIO GARCÍA: I don't know if I'm close close. I'm getting better and I still need to keep putting myself in this situation, and try to handle it better every time. If we manage to do that, we'll keep getting better. The good thing is that I'm able to play well under pressure, hit the right shots, and you know, that means a lot.
Q. How much did that break at the end of last year help you personally in terms of re energizing your enthusiasm for the game??
SERGIO GARCÍA: It helped. It definitely helped. I think at the end of the day, what helped the most was you know mind set of my people around me, my family, everybody that helped me and that's great. But like I said before, we it's a working process. It's getting it seems to be getting better every time and we keep going the same way.
The good thing is that I want to be out there. I'm enjoying myself, even though it was a hard tournament, and that's positive, too.
Q. A lot different from last, say, summer
SERGIO GARCÍA: The last two years probably.
Q. What are you looking most forward to at the Masters? I assume you're not playing Houston?
SERGIO GARCÍA: No.
Q. Or what's your favorite Masters memory, your first Masters??
SERGIO GARCÍA: Yeah, probably the first Masters is one of my best memories as an amateur. And obviously when we finished fourth, that, too. There's been some good moments.
Q. What's your favorite from your first Masters??
SERGIO GARCÍA: It's a lot of good things. Probably the birdie on 12 on the last round and winning the amateur trophy, that was great. Hopefully we'll be able to make some more good memories.
Q. Some guys have been talking about the spike marks on the greens with metal spikes. Did you find that to be a problem??
SERGIO GARCÍA: There's always been a lot of talk on that. I think that I don't know, it is the way it is. It's always been like that. And unfortunately, yeah, sometimes you get a spike mark and you've got to putt through it. And you don't know what is going to happen.
But I don't know, what can you do. Either everybody repairs them or no one does. So it's as simple as that.
Q. Will you go to Augusta this week??
SERGIO GARCÍA: No.
Q. How good does to feel to string together a couple of good finishes??
SERGIO GARCÍA: It feels good, no doubt about it. But like I said, there's still some things that we need to keep improving on. And that's the positive thing. Like I said before, it feels lies to be able to hit some of the shots I hit down the stretch and you know, trying to finish as high as possible. So that's very positive.
Q. Talking to Lee Westwood at Doral, he said how Augusta has become more of a driver accuracy course because of the trees than in the past; do you feel it suits your game more now??
SERGIO GARCÍA: If I play well, yes. If I play badly, no. It's as simple as that.
If you drive the ball well, it's great. But it's not only that, because after that you need to hit the iron shots in the right spots, because the areas are so narrow and they are so little, and they can be such a big difference from having a 5 footer for birdie to having a 50 footer over two mounds and probably 3-putt territory.
Q. I have a question about Luke Donald. You've been on The Ryder Cup with him and last year as vice captain, do you have any anecdotes about Luke from the Ryder Cup that bring out his personality??
SERGIO GARCÍA: He's a good friend of mine. We have a great relationship together. We have played a lot of great Ryder Cups together. I don't know, there's been a lot there's always one that I remember in Ireland, I think we were playing the foursomes together.
I think it was the first hole, he hit it way right, and you know, he was kind of like, first tee, kind of looking down and a little bit disappointed. And I just turned around and I said, "Don't worry, I'll hit it on the green from there. It's no problem. It's a good angle and stuff." And it kind of lifted him up and we had a good laugh there. Actually hit it on the green from there.
It was good. But there's been so many. It's hard to pick one.
Q. But he does very well in match play; is there something that he does differently??
SERGIO GARCÍA: He's just very consistent. He doesn't give anything away. And even if he misses a fairway and has to chip out from 120 yards in, he's deadly. You can see it by his scramble stats at the Match Play. He was like 26th or 28th or something like that, so it's something unbelievable.
Q. Is 17 do you think the toughest hole location of the back today??
SERGIO GARCÍA: Well, I think I hit a perfect shot with a 6 iron, and it flew two feet over the bunker, and it went in the back of the green. So being downwind, you have to hit an absolute perfect shot and fly it on that little upslope and hopefully if you do that, then you can hit it maybe 15, 20 feet by. But you probably have a two yard margin to land it.
Q. Did you notice the fluctuation on the leaderboard as you were coming in? It's jumping around like crazy.
SERGIO GARCÍA: It's tough. There are a lot of tough pin positions out there and the wind is up a little bit and the greens are firm. It's not easy at all.
I think that if my shot on 6, which was a great shot, instead of hitting the rocks, it carries two more yards and goes on the green and we get to 3 under there, the way we were playing, you know, we shoot 6 under today, finish 8 or 9 under, it has a chance of winning. But unfortunately it didn't happen. But we held on well and you know that's where we are.
We played good, and it's nice to, like I said, just keep building on it and keep getting better.
Q. Coming into the week you talked about the working process you are going through; how would you judge this week's effort against that process??
SERGIO GARCÍA: It's definitely helping. It definitely helps. It's a step forward in that process, but there's still more to take.
Q. What positives do you take away from this week??
SERGIO GARCÍA: A lot of positives. The last two weeks not even the last two weeks. I think that Qatar, Dubai, Tampa and this week, there have been a lot of positives there. There's still things that we need to get better at but there are a lot of good things happening and hopefully we can keep doing the same thing.